You Review: Zahdia thinks ‘Kook’ by Chris Vick is a “gripping” “coming of age tale”

MP!er Zahdia received a copy of Chris Vick’s debut, ‘Kook’, to read and review as part of our You Review. ‘Kook’ is about 15-year-old Sam who moves from the city to Cornwall and meets surfer-girl Jess who might just be trouble.

Wanting to try something other than my usual reads, Kook by Chris Vick seemed to be an ideal bridge from YA / Fantasy towards contemporary fiction.

Moving from a big city to a coast in Cornwall, 15 year old Sam has to adjust to living on the edge of nowhere. Dealing with painful memories of loss and new struggles of fitting in with the in-crowd, this book cannot be described as just a love story. This is a coming of age tale that deals with love, loss and heartbreak in many forms.

Learning to navigate in a new place and with new people is one thing, but Sam soon finds out that the water has its own rules and whilst the current may offer some curls, the big waves don’t forgive.


Once Sam meets neighbour Jess, he’s introduced to the wonder of waves and experiences a different type of freedom. But he soon realises, there’s more than meets the eye with the girl next door. Jess, a fierce surfer, has her heart set on only one thing: finding the mysterious Devil’s Horns and being the first to conquer its legendary waves.

Inspired by Jess’ obsession of the water, Sam takes to the waves, keen to prove that’s he no kook. Sam quickly understands why the others are so driven what it is to truly surf. Like the tumultuous currents at the coast, Sam’s journey is not short of sharp curves. Trying to balance the expectations from his family, the pressures from his friends, and the new found love of the water, Sam has to decide who he is and what he must do to keep the trust of those around him.

i can't stop reading

With help from someone long lost to him, Sam manages to decipher the elusive location of the Devil’s Horns. But with Sam and Jess about to ride the waves of every surfer’s dream, the events that follow on the coast are tethered to a nightmare.

The detail provided by the narrative is so gripping and accurate; you’ll be wondering how your feet are still dry. For any Kooks or those, like me, who’ve never had the chance to surf, this book will leave you wanting for your very own surfboard, ready to take on the tides, curving your own way.

The ingenious cover gives the reader a mere glimpse of what the inside will bring. A boy. A girl. And the wave that sweeps them away.

What did you think of ‘Kook’? Let us know at @maximumpopbooks! 

Grab a copy of ‘Kook’ HERE.

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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